William Raspberry, like most conservatives, displays a lack of sensitivity in his commentaries on sociopathic behavior in the Afro-American communities. "Black America Must First Put Out the Fire Within," (Op-Ed Page, Feb. 21) was a classic example.
While Raspberry told the "truth" about children born out of wedlock, "largely to adolescent mothers who lack the knowledge and the resources to get their youngsters off to a decent start in life; illicit drugs sold by blacks to blacks, turning entire communities into disaster areas; academic failure, including the deliberate rejection of academic exertion as unacceptably 'white'; the leading cause of death among young blacks is homicide, most of it involving blacks killing blacks"--such sweeping generalities must have provided an intellectual feast for conservatives and sundry racists. Most Afro-American simply don't fit that mold.
"Black America's house is on fire and the evidence is plain to see," he asserted. While he mentioned the contribution of racism to that dilemma, he suggested that the occupants of the burning house not waste time blaming it. Such time "would be far better spent forming bucket brigades to douse the flames." It's allegedly "unfair" to attribute "this dismaying conflagration to racism" and it is also a "distraction."